Patriot Guard Riders affected by new city policy - Dallas News |

Patriot Guard Riders affected by new city policy

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The Patriot Guard Riders are a familiar sight, volunteer motorcycle riders who provide escorts for America's fallen service members.

But, that's not the case anymore in one Texas city where the rules have changed and the cost is too much for the guard to bear.

The Patriot Guard has 300,000 members nationwide.

The leader of the Texas chapter says its non-profit status is exactly that, it is run by volunteers.

If the guard is required to take on a huge insurance policy, they do not have the budget to pay.

Mike Lambert is the State Captain for the Patriot Guard Riders in Texas.

The organization has become well known for honoring military servicemen and women with welcome home celebrations and flag lines at funerals.

A change in the city of Midland's public events policy is causing the club to tap its brakes.

The city is now requiring any group, like the Patriot Guard, to carry a $2 Million insurance policy to protect spectators and other participants.

Lambert says the non-profit organization doesn't have that kind of money.

"This is a city trying to cover a city's cost. It's not part of what we do," said Mike Lambert of the Patriot Guard Riders of Texas.

The move in Midland, some believe, is fallout from a crash last November. It happened during a parade to honor military veterans.

The truck and flatbed carrying participants crashed with a train, killing four of the injured veterans.

Lambert says the 24,000 volunteers who ride to show respect for the military will be disappointed if other cities follow Midland's lead.

But he says the real losers are the veterans.

"Those are the only people who stand for our freedoms, and we can't honor them without paying for a city's costs? That's not right," Lambert said.

When Fox 4 contacted the city of Midland to ask about its policy calls went unanswered.

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